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  • Victor Chua

8 Steps to Streamline Purchasing Process in Singapore (HDB & Private)

Updated: May 18, 2021

(HDB Resale / Private Resale / New Launch) Edition

From my previous article about “Why Resale & Why New Launch?”. I received multiple inquiries asking about how a purchase works in Singapore, and the required steps to start so as to find the dream place for both your family and you.

With all the news talking about the recent discounts given by developers, resale units are getting much more reasonably priced, and the market being softer which makes it the best time for savvy investors to jump on to the bandwagon.

How exactly can you go about doing so?
What are the steps required in the pre-purchase stage?

Today, I will be sharing a little bit more about the “How” & “What” have to be done to make the process of buying easier and smoother for namely HDB Resale, Private Residential Resale and Building Under Construction (BUC) *simply just means New Launches. I will also give a quick Payment Breakdown at the end, continue to scroll for more!!

HDB Resale

Step 1

  • As a buyer, you have to apply for a “Intent To Buy” on HDB Resale Portal to kick start the whole purchasing process. *do note that the validity is only for 12 months

Step 2 *important!!

  • If you need a loan from HDB or Financial Institution (FI), you will need to apply either Home Loan Eligibility (HLE) on HDB Portal or approach a housing banker to apply for In-Principle Approval (IPA).

  • Knowing your loan amount, you will now be able to shortlist your unit with a more concrete loan budget.

Step 3

  • Let the hunt BEGIN!!

Step 4

  • If you are firm on a unit, you will then need to pay a “Booking Fee” of up to $1000 to the seller to secure the Option to Purchase (OTP).

Step 5 *important!!

  • With the OTP on hand, you will then be able to do “Request for Value” on HDB Resale Portal.

  • With the valuation provided by HDB, then you will be able to know if the valuation is able to match the unit’s selling price. *If valuation do falls below the unit’s selling price, the excess will have to be top up by cash, commonly known as Cash Over Valuation (COV)

Step 6

  • You have 21 calendar days to exercise the OTP. If you choose to exercise the OTP, you will have to sign on the pages required and pay the “Option Fee” of up to $4000. *Booking Fee + Option Fee not more than $5000 in total

  • If you choose to drop out at this stage, your Booking Fee of up to $1000 will be forfeited to the seller.

Step 7 *If you exercise the OTP

  • You will have to coordinate with Seller’s representative or vice versa, to submit respective portions of the Resale Application Checklist on HDB Resale Portal.

  • Do note that, both applications have to be completed within 7 days after the first party has submitted their portion, there is a fee payable of up to $80 for resale application submission.

Step 8

  • After a resale application is submitted, now all you and your family have to do is to wait for the HDB completion date from HDB and start sourcing for a reliable ID company!!

Private Residential Resale

Step 1 *important!!

  • Apply for an In-Principle Approval (IPA) from a housing banker from your preferred bank or recommended low interest rate bank.

  • This is important as it will be able to provide you with a better understanding of your credit report and the max amount that you can loan from a Financial Institution (FI). With this information, you will be able to better gauge your upcoming property purchase price and thus, streamlining your property search.

Step 2

  • Start your HUNT!!

  • Start by scouting the area of your preferred location and set a 1km radius around it, be sure to check the Past Transacted and Current Market Asking prices of the condos within this radius.

Step 3

  • After checking out all the Past Transacted and Current Market Asking prices, you will already have a better understanding of the condo of your preference, now ask for a VIRTUAL VIEWING and floor plan!!

  • Use the Floor Plan as a “map” to orientate yourself during the virtual viewing.

Step 4 *important!!

  • If you are satisfied with the unit after virtual viewing, and you decide that you want the unit. Please hold on to your offer first.

  • Call a trusted housing banker and ask for a Bank Valuation of your preferred unit!!

  • This is to give yourself a better understanding of how much the bank actually values the unit. If the bank valuation matches the seller’s asking price, you will be able to get your loan without having to top up any cash.

  • Start sourcing for reliable solicitor/conveyancing & property lawyers

Step 5

  • After getting all the information, now it's time to NEGOTIATE!!

Step 6

  • Once your verbal offer is accepted, you or your agent will have to prepare an “Offer to Purchase” accompanied with a 1% Cheque/Cashier Order, serve as a “Booking Deposit” to the seller. Once the seller signs your offer, the seller will prepare the “Option to Purchase” (OTP), do note that there will be an Option Expiry Date.

Step 7

  • Once you decide to exercise the OTP within the Option Expiry Date, I strongly recommend that you bring the OTP and the 4% Cheque/Cashier Order down to your law firm and then exercise it.

Step 8

  • You will just have to wait for the completion as well as your law firm will advise you on the subsequent payments required like stamp duties, etc..

Building Under Construction (BUC) a.k.a New Launch

(Progressive Payment Scheme)

With the huge discounts flowing around the market by the developers, market have seen a purchase spike in May.
Best Selling Projects in May

Step 1 *similar to Private Residential Resale

  • Apply for an In-Principle Approval (IPA) from a housing banker from your preferred bank or recommended low interest rate bank.

Step 2

  • Share your preferred location with your agent and start asking your agent for e-Brochures, Floor Plan and also Past Transactions around the vicinity. Ask for market comparison charts and also get more information on the Comprehensive Market Analysis (CMA) of the location. If not you can also ask your agent for the top selling projects in the market.

  • Leave the “Why” questions to your agent, they will be the most eligible source out there to answer your question.

Step 3

  • Shortlist a couple of your ideal choices, ask your agent to arrange for a virtual tour into the showflat. During the virtual tour, feel free to ask any property related question to the ICs of the development!!

Step 4

  • Once you are firm on the project, ask for available units for sale and start to choose from the developer's inventory!! *Do note that hot selling project units generally get sell out pretty quickly, and so if you are firm on the unit, should quickly let your agent know, so he/she will be able to secure your unit fast.

Step 5

  • Once your agent has informed the developer of your interest. A set purchase required documents will be delivered to you. Agent will then run through the documents with you and finally the “where to sign” part.

  • Start sourcing or just ask your agent for a reliable solicitor/conveyancing & property lawyers.

Step 6

  • After filling & signing the documents, deliver the set of documents back to either developer or your agent accompanied with a 5% Cheque/Cashier Order directed to the Developers Project account.

  • Please do share this information with your housing banker & lawyer, so they are ready and prepared to assist you further.

Step 7

  • You will receive the Sales & Purchase (S&P) agreement in a couple of days typically via mail. You have up to 21 days to sign the S&P.

  • 25% of your initial 5% will be forfeited if you choose not to exercise the S&P.

Step 8

  • I strongly encourage you to bring the S&P, related documents and cheques (stamp duties, exercise fees, etc..) down to your law firm. Signing of the S&P at your law firm will be highly recommended.

*Do note that there are other payment schemes for buying a New Launch as you’re dealing with a developer. As it is not common and does not apply to all New launches, i will avoid sharing so as not to create further confusion, but if you would like to know more, just drop me a text.

Payment Breakdown

HDB Resale

  • Up to $1000 Cheque/Cashier Order/Cash for Booking Fee. (Cash Payment)

  • Up to $4000 Cheque/Cashier Order/Cash for Option Fee. (Cash Payment) *total not more than $5000 for Booking + Option Fees

  • Remaining will all be settled with HDB before completion of the purchase.

Private Residential Resale

  • 1% Cheque/Cashier Order for Booking Fee. (Cash Payment)

  • 4% Cheque/Cashier Order for Option Fee. (Cash Payment)

  • 20% Cash Payment/CPF.

  • 75% Bank Loan (*Based on Loan Eligibility)

Building Under Construction (Progressive Payment Scheme) *Payment in Stages!!

  • 5% Cheque/Cashier Order for Booking fee. (Cash Payment)

  • 15% Cash Payment/CPF for Exercising of S&P Agreement.

  • 5% Cash Payment/CPF, 5% Bank Loan for Completion of Foundation. *total of 10% (Stage 1)

  • 10% Bank Loan for Completion of Reinforced Concrete Framework. (Stage 2)

  • 5% Bank Loan for Completion of Partition Walls. (Stage 3)

  • 5% Bank Loan for Completion of Roofing/Ceiling. (Stage 4)

  • 5% Bank Loan for Completion of Door, Windows & Electrical components. (Stage 5)

  • 5% Bank Loan for Car Park, Roads & Drainage systems. (Stage 6)

  • 25% Bank Loan for attaining Temporary Occupation Permit. (Stage 7)

  • 15% Bank Loan for attaining Legal Completion. (Stage 8)

*Your mortgage repayment amount will be in stages depending on how much are the loan amount required during different stages of the payment scheme. In short, monthly mortgage payment will start from the repayment of 5% loan all the way to the full 75% loan in phases (depends on your loan eligiblity).

Above are all my “RECOMMENDED” steps to be taken before moving ahead with any of your purchase. Do not forget that you have an agent to assist you in any queries and questions you have. Tap on their professional abilities and insights! *Most purchase will not require any commission from buyer, so why not?

What are your concerns? What would you wish to share or clarify? I would love to hear from you!

For more property insights,

Read More @


Victor Chua, Senior Associate Director of OrangeTee & Tie, is a up and rising leader making a stand in the real estate industry.

He enjoys working out during his free time and can sing a couple of songs decently without having any leftover food thrown at him. When not doing so, he enjoys spending time with his family and love ones as he sees family as his top priority.

Professionally, he is a licensed real estate agent, investor, team leader, and a Real Estate Salesperson (RES) trainer in Navis Living Group (NLG).

Throughout his career, he has helped many clients grow their wealth through meticulous and intentional real estate planning by selecting great property investments and also managing their portfolios actively.

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